Once again the National Tennis Center in Beausejour, Gros Islet, will play host to the second annual Cap Maison Eastern Caribbean Tennis Championships. The tournament is scheduled to take place from April 14th through April 19th, and will feature top local players as well as the cream of the crop from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, British Virgin Islands, and Martinique.
NTC manager, Ricardo Bowe, is pleased with the direction of the Championships.
“We are expecting quite an exciting event and we are covering as usual all of the age groups. And it is a major regional event with several countries coming from around the region. It is considered to be one of the biggest development tournaments in the Eastern Caribbean right now. As you know we also have one of the largest tennis development grassroots programs in the Caribbean. Our center and our event is now becoming almost like a focal point for the Southern Eastern Caribbean in terms of tennis.”
Digicel Marketing representative, Fiona Smith, would not disclose the official dollar amount from the telecommunications giant but reaffirmed their commitment to the tourney.
“Once again Digicel is very happy to be on board as a sponsor and a partner with the National Tennis Center. And Digicel is very keen when it comes to the development of the youth and the older generation. And this regional competition, we’d like to say kudos to everyone involved because they’re actually doing a very good job.”
The St Lucia Olympic Committee pledged their support with a $12 500 contribution. SLOC general secretary Alfred Emmanuel stated that the group is always eager to assist their member organizations. He also alluded to the fact that this event was a springboard to greater opportunities.
“The staging of this tournament is timely bearing in mind that later this year tennis is one of the sports that will be able to participate in the Central American Games and Caribbean Games. Tennis is also an Olympic sport. It is on the Rio calendar. It is also on the Pan-Am (Pan American) calendar. Therefore we just simply cannot make a leap from the tennis center to find ourselves in Rio. It is a progressional step and we as an organization is more than happy to facilitate the progression of the members of the tennis association.”
The Goddard Catering Group is a first time sponsor and marketing rep, Dave Charlemagne, is looking forward to a lengthy partnership.
“Paradise Water, Goddard Catering Group would like to show their support in any way possible to the tennis association, helping the youth reach and strive for their goals this year and in years to come.”
Ross Stevenson, general manager of the titular sponsor Cap Maison, spoke fondly of the tournament, in which his son has participated.
“From my point of view it’s great to see the development of youngsters. My own son James went through this and I think it has done him a world of good to make him a more well-rounded individual through the playing of the sport of tennis. We are delighted to be involved and we would like to continue to be involved in the development of the youth through sport.
Spectators can look forward to quality tennis as most of the players will be coming off other events and in fine form. The Open portion has received entries from local stalwarts the likes of Vernon Lewis, Akeem Gustave, Jervone Antoine, and Sirsean Arlain; all national and former Davis Cup players.
The issue of transportation to the site was addressed, as it was acknowledged that the shuttle system in the area is not the most reliable. Digicel’s Smith and Bowe are sorting out a viable option.
Hopefully they reach a resolution soon. There are precious rankings points up for grabs which should make this a can’t miss for tennis fans.